Yesterday, Padres GM A.J. Preller was suspended for 30 days by Major League Baseball for bein’ a total jack wagon. (Translation: an underhanded, diabolical, deceitful, double-dealin’, duplicitous, deceiving, cheatin’, lyin’, two-faced weasel.) Technically, it was for keepin’ 2 sets of medical records on his players to intentionally deceive trade partners. But ask any GM on the short end of a trade with Preller and he’ll tell ya the guy is a friggin’ jack wagon, dirt bag, phlegm wad, ass hat or some other term fit for someone tryin’ to slip ’em damaged goods.
Not to be left outta the race for the Pants On Fire award, the Padres brass, consisting of Ron Fowler, Peter Seidler and Mike Dee said in a joint statement. “To be clear, we believe that there was no intent on the part of A.J. Preller or other members of our baseball operations staff to mislead other clubs.” Yeah, right. Dry that one out and you can fertilize both the infield AND the outfield grass at Petco. Twice. If there wasn’t any intent to deceive, why the two sets of medical records? Riddle me that, Batman. As ESPN’s Buster Olney noted in his piece yesterday, Padres athletic trainers were supposedly instructed to maintain two separate medical files on their players: one for the Padres and another for “industry consumption.” I have a little trouble gettin’ my head around baseball as an industry instead of a game, but either way, somethin’ stinks at Petco Park, and it ain’t cuz it’s the 7th inning on free chili dog night.
Am I surprised? Not in the slightest. Baseball, for whatever reason, can’t seem to get past its desire to cheat. Not everybody, obviously, but there’s always a few Barry Bonds types lurking in the shadows. What’s unusual in this instance is that Preller doesn’t wear a uniform … which makes him more like Marge Schott than A-Rod in the “gettin’ suspended for bein’ a D-bag” department. This ain’t the first time Preller’s conniving ass has been hauled into the commissioner’s wood shed, either. He’d barely set foot in San Diego in 2014 when the team was reprimanded cuz he broke baseball’s rules governing workouts. And before that, when he was still with the Rangers, he chalked up his first suspension for violatin’ international signing rules.
The guy has GOT to share a bloodline with Hillary Clinton.
Instead of playin’ by the rules, he’s fixed on seein’ how many he can break. And anyone thinkin’ this is no big deal is dead friggin’ wrong. The Sox — both White and Red — as well as Miami, all had dealings with the Padres under Preller’s black ops medical management, and in at least two instances ended up with injured players. We’re talkin’ deals where millions of dollars are at stake, not to mention the integrity of the game. (As if there’s any whiff of that floatin’ around in San Diego.)
And that’s what I can’t quite figure about Manfred’s decision. A 30 day suspension without pay? BFD. That’s like makin’ Preller stand in the corner until the bell rings. There’s virtually nothin’ goin’ on this time of year that requires his attention. Plus … I don’t know what the guy makes, but in today’s “show me the money” world of professional sports, I know it’s a number that comes with 6 zeros after it. Yeah, losin’ a month of it is a lot of money; like 5 or 10 times what I make in a year. But unless the guy has multiple ex-wives or a gambling problem, he’ll hardly feel it. Will a lesson be learned? I think not. His track record speaks for itself.
What’s really great about all of this is that the Padres are playin’ .425 ball and are 20 games back in their division. Hope it was worth it, Preller. Sure doesn’t look like it from my barcalounger.
PS. Now … I gotta get back to celebratin’ the Cubs clinching the Division. I know it was official yesterday, when St Louis lost (the next best way to do it other than beatin’ St Louis ourselves) but today’s walk-off was the icing, baby. #LetsGo